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  • *Germany shipyards' group forecasts rise in new orders. FRANKFURT, May 1- German shipyards expect orders to rise this year as they focus more on high-tech vessels for oil and gas exploration and for installing and servicing offshore wind farms, and as the global shipping industry emerges from a five-year slump.

  • *Contract to rival ICE's London cocoa market. LONDON, May 1- CME Group Inc, the world's largest futures exchange operator, plans to launch a cocoa futures contract this year, challenging rival Intercontinental Exchange's dominance in the market, industry sources said.

  • *First-quarter earnings $1.01/ shr vs est $0.97/ shr. *Net sales fall 3.1 pct to $3.74 bln vs est $3.81 bln. May 1- Kellogg Co reported a bigger-than-expected fall in quarterly revenue as competition from private-label brands and alternative breakfast items ate into cereal sales in the United States.

  • LONDON, May 1- Oil fell below $107 a barrel on Thursday to its lowest in more than three weeks as lacklustre Chinese economic data, the prospect of a rise in Libyan oil supply and record-high U.S. inventories weighed on prices.

  • *Raises 2014 adj earnings forecast to $4.36/ share from $4.16. May 1- Harman International Industries Inc raised its full-year forecast for the second time after strong sales of its infotainment systems to European luxury carmakers such as BMW and Volkswagen helped it report a better-than-expected quarterly profit.

  • LONDON, May 1- The grandson of Winston Churchill delivered his own brand of fighting talk on his first day as boss of British outsourcer Serco, pledging to reverse the "severe damage" caused by contract scandals and put "a spring in the step" of staff.

  • May 1- British property consultant Savills Plc said it would buy U.S.-based commercial real estate services firm Studley Inc for up to $260 million to expand in North America. Savills said it would pay an initial consideration of up to $130 million in cash and shares.

  • *Expects 2014 earnings $3.15- $3.30/ share vs est $3.30. BorgWarner is one of the biggest suppliers of turbocharging technology, which has been increasingly used by automakers including Ford Motor Co and Hyundai Motor Co, to boost fuel economy and meet stricter gas mileage and emissions requirements.

  • DETROIT, May 1- Chrysler Group LLC, a unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, reported a 14 percent rise in U.S. auto sales for April, which is higher than the expected 9 percent increase for the industry. April is seen as another strong month in what has so far been a strong sales year after allowing for cold and snowy weather in January and February.

  • *Yelp shares up in premarket as revenue jumps. Health insurer Cigna Corp reported first-quarter earnings that beat expectations, while Cardinal Health's revenue was below forecasts, sending shares down 2.2 percent to $68 in premarket trading. *Late Wednesday, Yelp Inc reported a 66 percent rise in quarterly revenue.

  • U.S. jobless claims rise unexpectedly in latest week Thursday, 1 May 2014 | 8:30 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, May 1- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but the underlying trend continued to point to improving labor market conditions.

  • WASHINGTON, May 1- U.S. consumer spending recorded its largest increase in more than four and a half years in March, cementing views the economy ended a dismal first-quarter on solid footing. The Commerce Department said on Thursday that consumer spending increased 0.9 percent after rising by a revised 0.5 percent in February.

  • *Sterling jumps after surging UK manufacturing figures. LONDON, May 1- Surging manufacturing growth in Britain drove sterling to a near five-year high on Thursday as markets suffered only a brief wobble after data on China's vast manufacturing sector just missed forecasts.

  • May 1- Avon Products Inc will pay the U.S. government $135 million to settle a multiyear probe into its efforts to develop new markets overseas, according to a preliminary understanding the beauty products company disclosed on Thursday.

  • Ally Financial profit falls 79 pct Thursday, 1 May 2014 | 8:18 AM ET

    May 1- Auto-lender Ally Financial Inc, which went public in April, reported a 79 percent drop in quarterly profit as the company's year-ago results included more than $1 billion in income from discontinued operations. Net income fell to $227 million, or 33 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $1.09 billion, or $2.16, a year earlier.

  • May 1- Harman International Industries Inc reported a 32 percent rise in quarterly revenue, helped by strong sales of its infotainment systems to luxury carmakers such as BMW and Volkswagen. Net income rose to $73.4 million, or $1.05 per share in the third quarter ended March 31, from $34.9 million, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • May 1- MasterCard Inc, the world's second-largest debit and credit card company, posted a 14 percent rise in quarterly profit as more people used cards to shop. MasterCard's worldwide purchase volume increased 10 percent on a local currency basis to $759 billion.

  • BorgWarner quarterly profit up 12 percent Thursday, 1 May 2014 | 8:13 AM ET

    May 1- BorgWarner Inc, a maker of automotive turbochargers and emissions systems, posted a higher quarterly profit, helped by higher sales at both its engine and drivetrain businesses. Net income attributable to BorgWarner rose 12 percent to $159.1 million, or 69 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $142 million, or 61 cents per share.

  • May 1- Ford Motor Co said it would hold a news conference at 9 a.m. Eastern, at which CNBC reported it would confirm the appointment of Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields as its new chief executive. A person familiar with the succession plan told Reuters last month that Ford would soon name Fields to succeed Alan Mulally.

  • May 1- Coal miners Walter Energy Inc and Alpha Natural Resources Inc said they expected to ship fewer tons of steel-making coal as prices and demand remain low. Alpha Natural and Walter Energy's shares were down 3 percent before the bell.